Indu S1 (2021) Review

This slow-burning thriller on women and family dynamics leaves a lot of things unexplained

Rony Patra -

Indu S1 (2021) Review
Platform
Hoichoi
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Format
Original Series Review
Movie Rated
16+
Genre
THRILLER
Language
Bengali

What is the story about?

Haunted by the elopement of her groom Anjan with her younger sister Mili, Indu gets ready to marry Sougato after a lot of effort. However, subsequently, Indu starts receiving a number of warnings that threaten her marriage. As she sets foot in Sougato's household, she realizes all is not well in her household, and someone will go to great lengths to prevent her marriage from surviving. But who is it? 

Analysis

It's a good thing perhaps that Bengali OTT platforms are finally starting to look at the toxic side of family dynamics and mining this for shows. Writer-producer Sahana Dutta, who created the initially-promising thriller Mohomaya for Hoichoi a few months ago, dives into the world of the Bengali family yet again for telling a new dark story. You could be forgiven for thinking Indu to be a spiritual successor to another Hoichoi series that ended this year, Paap. However, Indu feels more scary as a whole.
 
Shows depicting women as victims of domestic abuse are not uncommon. However, what makes Indu disturbing is how starkly it chooses to portray the helplessness of women in the household after marriage. And yet, as the eight-episode series progresses, you realise the spectre of abuse and gaslighting extends to women other than Indu as well, and are, more often than not, brushed under the carpet for conserving "family honour". It's an explosive premise, and the screenplay by Dutta certainly indicates a bigger can of worms than is evident in this first season. However, because of the scope of the story, there are certain elements that have been left unexplored in this first instalment, and you have to frustratingly wait for a subsequent season for more answers. 

Performances

Ishaa Saha is dependable as Indu, and you occasionally find shades of Projapoti Biskut in her performance. However, the real scene-stealer here is Suhotra Mukhopadhyay, who is chameleon-like as Sujato, Sougato's younger brother, and keeps you guessing till the very end. Chandraniv Mukhopadhyay is all right as Sougato, but you feel the screenplay didn't leave much for him to do, apart from glower and smoke at times. Manasi Sinha is suitably menacing as the matriarch, who wants to run a tight ship at all times.
 
Manali Dey's Laboni is teased throughout the season, but only appears properly in the last couple of episodes. However, bizarrely, she is credited throughout the season. Birohi star Satakshi Nandy is okay as the domestic help Sundori, who keeps track of most secrets in the household, while Anuradha Mukherjee appears out of nowhere as an unnamed character leading Indu to important clues.

Music & Other Departments

Binit Ranjan Moitra's background score is all right. Sudipta Majumdar's cinematography uses shadows beautifully to depict the inner darkness of characters.

Highlights

  • Ishaa Saha and Suhotra Mukhopadhyay's performances are terrific.
  • The writing sharply highlights the helpless position of women after marriage.

Drawbacks

Because of the structure of the story, many plot points are left unexplained for subsequent seasons to uncover. For instance, apart from Mili's elopement with Anjan, it is not properly established why the dynamics between Indu and Mili are so messed up. Also, the identity of the unknown woman who helps Indu find the women's hostel is not known. These little details drag down the narrative a bit.

Did I enjoy it?

Yes, but I was left with a lot of questions by the end.

Do I recommend it?

You can give this a watch if you are interested in a thriller looking at the dark side of family dynamics.


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